T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS - Original Soundtrack by William Ross

Dragon's Domain Records


CD includes Digital Download / Digital PDF
Click here for Digital-Only Download

Dragon’s Domain Records presents the soundtrack release of T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS, featuring music composed by William Ross (THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES, SEPTEMBER DAWN, YOUNG BLACK STALLION) for the 1998 IMAX adventure film directed by Brett Leonard (LAWNMOWER MAN) and starring Liz Stauber and Peter Horton.

Released in 1998, T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS is an educational narrative IMAX film produced and co-written by Andrew Gellis and directed by Brett Leonard. T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS tells the story of sixteen-year old Ally Hayden (Liz Stauber), the daughter of world-renown paleontologist Dr. Donald Hayden (Peter Horton). Ally is infatuated with dinosaurs and wants to prove to her father that she harbors some valid theories regarding parental behavior in Tyrannosaurus Rex. She begs her father to take her on his expeditions. Fearing the danger, he forbids her from tagging along. Ally reluctantly settles for leading tours of the natural history museum instead. 

One night while Ally is visiting her father at the museum, she knocks over an oblong rock from her father’s desk. It cracks open on impact with the floor and emits a brown mist, transporting Ally back in time to the early twentieth-century and eventually to the Late Cretaceous (about 65–70 million years ago). While traveling backward through time she meets famed dinosaur painter Charles Knight, pioneering paleontologist Barnum Brown, and encounters several living dinosaur breeds: Hadrosaurus, Velociraptor, Pteranodon, Ornithomimus, and even Tyrannosaurus Rex!

One of the characteristics shared by a majority of IMAX films are their rousing orchestral scores, hellbent on seizing advantage of the robust audio systems installed throughout IMAX theaters. The lush romantic score for T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS was composed by William Ross and is no exception. The gorgeous music for T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS is the epitome of the grandiose IMAX film score. But for as beautiful, touching, and emotional as Ross’ score gets, there is also a dark side. The Late Cretaceous is a dangerous, mysterious, and merciless period and Ross paints its treacherous landscapes with aplomb. 

William Ross is a prolific, award-winning composer and arranger whose work has spanned feature films, the recording industry and television. He has composed music for such films as TUCK EVERLASTING, MY DOG SKIP, TIN CUP, MY FELLOW AMERICANS, the IMAX film, YOUNG BLACK STALLION, HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, where he was adapting the musical themes of John Williams and, most recently, SEPTEMBER DAWN. Ross has orchestrated more than 100 films, including THE MATRIX RELOADED, FORREST GUMP, STUART LITTLE, THE MUMMY RETURNS, THE POLAR EXPRESS and VAN HELSING. He has also arranged for a remarkable list of artists including Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Kenny G., Michael Jackson, David Foster, Quincy Jones and Babyface. In 2007, he was Music Director for the 79th, 83rd, 85th, and 86th Academy Awards shows. Arrangements penned by Ross have been a part of the opening ceremonies of several Super Bowls along with the opening and/or closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Calgary (1988), Atlanta (1996), Salt Lake City (2002), Torino (2006), Vancouver (2010), and Sochi (2014). Ross is also the recipient of four Emmy Awards, two BMI Film Music Awards, the Golden Score Award from ASMAC, and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and an Annie Award.

Previously released on a rare compact disc, Dragon’s Domain Records is excited to bring T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS back to the marketplace, newly remastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland. The booklet contains liner notes written by author and composer Brian Satterwhite. 

T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS is a limited edition release of 500 units. The first 100 copies ordered through the website will include a booklet signed by composer William Ross.

1. Main Title (3:28)
2. Ally (1:26)
3. Liz Falls (1:55)
4. Finding the Egg (1:52)
5. Ally and Dad (2:58)
6. Journey to the Cretaceous (5:36)
7. Meeting Charles Knight (2:04)
8. Kiss and a Squeeze (2:00)
9. Meeting Barnum Brown (4:38)
10. Meeting T-Rex (6:41)
11. Finale (3:57)
Total Time: 37:02


T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (1998) ****
Dragon’s Domain DDR691
11 tracks - 36:34

Previously released by the composer as a limited CD, William Ross’ score to the IMAX film T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous has received a new remastering and a brief, accompanying booklet. Ross has orchestrated on a slew of big pictures that required a grand adventure style, and that experience, along with a strong melodic sensibility, often lifts his original projects to soaring heights. T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous is no exception.

After the thrilling “Main Title,” a touching, intimate piano moment ground things in “Ally.” “Liz Falls” features a warm opening that shifts gears to a terrifying crash of dissonance, material revisited later on in “Journey to the Cretaceous.”

Ally’s discovery of an egg is addressed with a blend of danger and magic in “Finding the Egg,” while gentle piano statements pace “Ally and Dad.” Also notable is some of the fine wind writing on display throughout the more emotive tracks, adding warmth to the thematic material.

Ross’ score has a little bit of everything, from emotional themes to big, adventure tunes, not to mention plenty of action and tension-raising that alludes to the grandiose scope of the film’s subject matter. There’s even a little big band-flavored song, “Kiss and a Squeeze,” co-written with Dennis Spiegel.

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous is a thrill ride that dabbles in the silver-age style of orchestral film music that many fans love. The themes here are likely to linger in the memory, as the score now outlasts the film for which it was written. The album, as usual with Dragon’s Domain issues, is a limited edition of 500 units. —Steven A. Kennedy

Comments regarding this review can be sent to: stev4uth@hotmail.com.